Training so far, The First Weeks (1-4)

I should have known that it wasn’t going to get any easier or that I would have more time somehow after exams! No one can say I have a boring life, that’s for sure!

The “real” Week 1
Monday is usually a rest day, but I hadn’t had a chance to go to “Monday, Runner’s Day” in a few months for various reasons (the last being that I had an operation on the same day so, uh, good excuse!). Monday Runner’s Day is an incentive and event set up by my friend Erlinde who blogs over at Run-Way Girls and also runs on the same training team as Ron (formerly known as “the Hubs” but I read this week on the internet that saying “the Hubs” is annoying). This is an event that happens first Monday of the month and sponsored by our running friends over at Runnersworld in our very own city of Arnhem. This was the last Monday Runner’s Day for a couple of months and I really wanted to go and see Erlinde and wish her good luck since she would be traveling to Chamonix as a part of the ASICS BEAT THE SUN Relay Team (she was an alternate and eventually ran for the Asia team!). This was technically Week 1 Run 1.

Week 1 Run 1 - CHECK!
Week 1 Run 1 – CHECK!

The very next day my friend Adam arrived from San Francisco! He arrived in the morning and I knew he would be first heading over to Amsterdam before he came to Arnhem. I had to work anyway so I planned on picking him up after work. It seemed the first of many comedy of errors – his phone died, his charger was in his luggage in a locker and I had no way of getting in touch with him, nor did I know what time to pick him up. At some point I just decided to head over the station and wait. I had bought him tickets for the train so at the very least I knew he would be coming in at some point! Right as I decided to leave I tried to call him again and he finally answered! He was in fact in Arnhem and charging his empty phone in a cafe.

The last time I saw Adam was 3 years ago, when I came back from Fitbloggin Portland. The time before that was pretty much in … 1986. That’s right. We go way back. In fact, he was my first boyfriend. And yes, Ron knows all about it. Anyway, we only got in touch probably about 6 years ago or so through Facebook, but we were always friends first and foremost.

before I left San Francisco to fly back to Amsterdam.
before I left San Francisco to fly back to Amsterdam.

Anyway, we talked about it a few years ago – he is a HUGE Iron Maiden fan and meant to come over a couple of years ago to see a few European shows but it never really worked out until now. So… while he was staying with us the first night, he had plans to be in several other cities over the next two weeks… and I would be there with him for a few shows!

Wednesday – I had to work, but I came home around 4pm so that we could hit up our first show of Adam’s Iron Maiden tour, right here in Arnhem! We scored our t-shirts, got through security and went to our seats. Originally my friend Kate and I were going to go but she decided it wasn’t the best timing for her so Adam was able to take the ticket off her hands. The way I saw it was, this was just a warming up for me to get into gig mode and for him it was his 50th show he was celebrating with his long time friend (moi). Could not have been a better night. Super show!

YEAH!!  UP THE IRONS!! Gelredome, Arnhem
YEAH!! UP THE IRONS!! Gelredome, Arnhem

Thursday – up EARLY because it was time to go to Paris! The trip went by with pretty much zero problems (well I messed up our tickets so that our seats weren’t together but I just asked the lady with that seat if she would trade with me and it was no issue). We arrived a few hours later, dropped our bags at the hotel (we were too early to check in), went across the road to a cafe and had a giant glass of wine (as you do) and then finally went back to the hotel, checked in and then got ready to head out again… over to the Fondation Louis Vuitton, which is simply an AMAZING Frank Gehry building that had to be experienced (Adam in an architect and I am a fan of architecture). It was also a stunningly beautiful day, blue skies, sun shining, nothing more perfect for a day in Paris. I was starving after several hours walking around the building and through some of the exhibitions so we did what only old rockers could do… we headed over to the Hard Rock Cafe for food and drinks. After we destroyed our wallets in the cafe we then gave the rest of what we had in the bank to the gift shop (as you do).

An afternoon at Fondation Louis Vuitton
An afternoon at Fondation Louis Vuitton

Did you notice so far I haven’t said anything about running after Day 1?

Friday – up EARLY for a 5KM run in Paris. We weren’t staying in the GREATEST area in Paris but also not the worst. After you’ve been to Paris a few times, you know what to look out for and where to go and I figured 5KM would be safe enough on my own. It was early as well but the sun was already up so I just got up and did it. Running alone in Paris made me also feel good, strong and secure and like I could do anything. But hey, it wasn’t my first time running in Paris, right? This was Week 1 Run 2.

early morning run in Paris
early morning run in Paris

After my run I walked around a bit and noticed that we were just under the Sacre Coeur which made me very happy. I already suggested to Adam that we go up there and I knew he would be game.

So I went back to the hotel, got showered, dressed and had breakfast. Then we were off to walk the stairs to the Sacre Coeur. Also a gorgeous start to the day!

We spent quite some time up in Montmartre, had coffee, people watched and unsuccessfully haggled artwork (meaning, I did not buy anything). Then we went back to the hotel for a tiny little nap before we were off to the DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL . I won’t go into the whole thing, but this was a SERIOUS comedy of errors. Luckily we 1) HAD A BLAST and 2) LAUGHED A LOT. We got there easily and got back super easily and had a great time and that’s what is most important.


highlight of the evening  (despite the photo with Jack, none was consumed...)
highlight of the evening (despite the photo with Jack, none was consumed…)

Saturday – Paris trip over. Had breakfast together and then headed out to the train station together. I was off back home and he was off to London and further for the DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL UK. An uneventful trip back home, Ron picked me up (YAY) and we had an early night.

Sunday – Week 1 Run 3. The reason I came back and did not go to the festival in the UK (and thank dog I didn’t because it was a muddy mess) – sponsored by my company, Ron and I ran the Zuidasloop once again (the previous times with Starbucks). My longest run since the operation and my first race. I really only should have run 10K so up to 11 it was fine and then the last 5 I just took it easy. Foot is still a little sensitive and don’t want to take risks. In total, 16KM. Of course that was in Amsterdam, so we left fairly soon afterwards to make it home at a decent hour.

me and the Fonz at the Zuidas
me and the Fonz at the Zuidas

Food wise – I was away, I didn’t really eat that well, could have been worse, didn’t go overboard with alcohol but still not in the swing of things.

3 runs in total, 26KM.

Week 2
Back at work again, Adam in England, Norway and Sweden before returning to the Netherlands. Of the 5 runs I had on the planning I managed two. My long run was supposed to be Sunday but I moved it to Saturday due to Sunday being another Iron Maiden trip!

Run 1 was with Gerrit again!
Yay! So nice to have running partners who you are not constantly slowing down. Gerrit pushed us both a bit so that we made it 9KM. Was supposed to be “easy” but certainly was not! lots of hills!

yes!  Gerrit's first time at 9 kilometers!!
yes! Gerrit’s first time at 9 kilometers!!

Run 2 was the longrun – nothing super special, at least I made it in any case! 13KM in 1:27.

running on the John Frost bridge
running on the John Frost bridge

2 runs in total, 22KM.

Adam was back Saturday evening so we were off to dinner with Ron and the kids at our favorite Greek restaurant.

Sunday morning we were up early, I picked up Adam at his hotel and we were off to the Graspop Metal Meeting festival in Belgium! Once again to see Iron Maiden, but this time we were special “guests” of (the mighty) Saxon! Adam met the guitarist in England and managed to get us on the list! This was by far for me the best festival since I was now warmed up from the other two shows and ready to ROCK! So much fun! Stayed over in a hotel and drove back the next day after a good breakfast.


Week 3

Adam was back to San Francisco on Tuesday and I was back to work. Of the 4 runs on my schedule, I managed three of them.

Run 1 was intervals – thankfully Ron was there to pace me through them and I had a very successful session! Yay!

interval face
interval face

Run 2 was an “easy” run that I actually did very early in the morning with Ron. Also a fine run. 2 in a row! I did this one early because I had a date with my friend Yvonne in the evening! Yay, friends!

running with my love
running with my love

Run 3 was my long run. I skipped intervals (which was the real run 3) and did my long run once again on Saturday. 16KM. Went ok. Did have to stop around 10KM to catch my breath and bring down my heart rate but otherwise it was very fine. I did throw a couple intervals in, but in the end I still ran it faster than the Zuidasloop, so hey, progress!

hot.  muggy. thank G-d for trains.
hot. muggy. thank G-d for trains.

3 runs in total, 31KM

On Thursday I went to Run2Day to meet with a trainer for City Bootcamp. I am officially registered for an “afval race” for the month of July (weight loss challenge). I need SOMETHING as I’m just not doing well in the food department at all (more on that to come). So I signed up, weighed in, had a heart attack and got ready to go to boot camp!

On Sunday I actually went to Amsterdam to work the ICAN Triathlon event at the massage tent. That’s right. Even though I did not pass my exam for certification I was still allowed to massage. And my own massage therapist said I did a great job. The more practice I get, the better! It was pretty much the whole day gone in Amsterdam though, so when I got home, Ron felt like going to the Thai, so we were out to dinner again.

working the ICAN event
working the ICAN event

Week 4

Of the 5 runs on my schedule I did make the motion of running indeed 5 times, but I’d say half of it was rubbish. I also went to bootcamp twice.

Monday – boxing bootcamp. Hard mentally and physically. Always hard to do something for the first time, go and meet people for the first time, but hey, the hardest part is just showing up and that I did. I was surprised that I could do more than what I expected. Then again on a good day I KNOW that I am fit and strong, why wouldn’t I be able to do it? It was only a little bit of boxing and more running around doing various difficult exercises with our own body weight.

Tuesday – completely broken. I discovered muscles I only learned about but didn’t know *I* actually had. Walked around like the tin man all day. So it was to be expected that my interval session (Run 1) that evening would be COMPLETE AND UTTER SHITE. It was so crap that I actually walked about 4 kilometers home because I simply could not run. Bloody hell.

tough running after the first bootcamp - interval fail.
tough running after the first bootcamp – interval fail.

Wednesday – up EARLY for a morning run. This time (Run 2) was to be an easy 45 min. I could do that. So I did. Phew. But I could still feel my abs and my quads. Ouch. After work I hit up the drug store and bought ibuprofen and muscle cream. I took 800mg (don’t judge) and practically bathed in the cream and hit up boot camp again that evening. It hurt, but it was better. More cream and another ibu before bed.

(wait, what, no photo???)

Thursday – REST DAY. Went to Nijmegen to pick up race packets for…

Friday – the Eiland Run! A new 10K in a new area in Nijmegen (where I ran in January with SocialMile024, before it was finished). Usually we prepare much better for races but we just figured it was Nijmegen and a 10K so what’s to prepare? Silly muppets. Apparently we completely missed that there were some parts that were off-road and with the weather being the way it was that could mean a big mess. Sure enough, we got started and after the first few 100 meters it was ONLY mud. Not just a bit of mud where you had to carefully step around it, it was a giant open space of MUD. I was pissed actually and thought about stepping out (though where would I go? hahaha!) until three ladies actually helped me up to a “better” muddy patch to run through until we could get to the road again. Once I got to the road I asked the Marshall if we had to run through it again. He responded yes but gave me a tip to go straight through at a certain point of the course instead of going through the mud again. And that’s exactly what I did. Basically I left the course at 6.5KM because there was no freaking way I was going through the mud again. It was a small race and eventually I finished NOT last (17 people behind me), thank dog. Not sure I’ll do that one again.

our first ever Eiland Run
our first ever Eiland Run

Saturday – made it to the hairdresser finally. I was looking like a ragamuffin old lady. All fixed now.

In the afternoon I went running with Gerrit again! Just a nice and easy 7km. Good to have a chat as well. He pretty much helped me figure out why I am being so difficult on myself at the moment. So I need to work on that…

yay!  another run with Gerrit!
yay! another run with Gerrit!

Sunday – long run day. Ugh. Planned to go with Melanie but it turned out to be bad timing for her so we made a new date for a long run. On my own again. I was 3 kilometers in when the heavens literally opened up on me. I was completely drenched. When it happened I was on the bridge so I had no choice but to carry on and cross the bridge in order to get under it for shelter. Then I was cold. VERY cold. I couldn’t get started again. I turned around and went back. I made it 7.5KM “running” and then basically walked another 3.5KM home. I feel so useless right now.

2016-07-03 12.16.05

Ron still had to go out so after I took a little nap I went out again with him, this time on the bike. I biked 20 KM and he ran. Better than nothing and I made the best of my day.

2016-07-03 16.38.30

Total “runs” 5, 35KM.

So that’s where I’m at right now. I’m still moving, but I’m not eating well. I need to shift the weight and I need to get it together.

So did I get it together? Week 5 and Week 6 recap coming up (I’ll be on staycation soon and finally have some time to get the blog up to date!)!

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